Pick your poison

How are the toxic chemicals accumulating in the Great Lakes ecosystem affecting wildlife and humans? Widespread effects on fish and wildlife prompt fish consumption advisories and concern for drinking water safety. Economies that depend on tourism, fishing and other water-related activities also suffer when water quality and ecosystem health declines. 

Stress test- Great Lakes threats

The environmental degradation of the Great Lakes in the last 150 years was inevitable but not unavoidable. Unchecked coastal exploitation resulted from the mistaken belief that their enormous volumes of water could indefinitely deal with a growing human population and unsustainable development. Four of the largest U.S. metro areas and hundreds of large and smaller cities are located on the shores of the Great Lakes.

Danger zone- threats to Lake Erie water quality

Lake Erie has many threats including sediment, fertilizers, pesticides, toxic chemicals, microorganisms,untreated sewage,salt, plastics, metals and heat create which create perfect conditions for harmful algal blooms, dead zones, acid rain and other problems. Erosion, beach closures, fishing and swimming advisories, millions of dollars in flooding and infrastructure damage and thousands of acres of lifeless streams, rivers and lakes are avoidable disasters that are caused by human activities.

Seeing is believing- Great Lakes Threat Map

Do you take the Great Lakes for granted? Do you think that because you live near the largest, surface freshwater system in the world, your access to clean water is limitless? If so, you’re not alone. Too many people believe that water is a renewable resource (it isn’t) or that it’s easy to fix pollution problems caused by human activities. How else can you explain the serious threats to the Great Lakes, which 40 million U.S. and Canadian citizens and countless wildlife depend on for survival?


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Main Office: Tom Ridge Environmental Center 301 Peninsula Dr., Suite 3 Erie, PA 16505 814-217-9011